West Ada School District Superintendent Linda Clark asked board chairman Mike Vuittonet on Tuesday for direction on how to proceed with finding a solution for unsafe turf at Meridian High School.

At the Tuesday board meeting, Clark said the turf at the school can cause concussions for students playing on the field due to wear and tear which has been accelerated by a sprinkler issue.

“The current turf is not safe,” Clark said. “The main issue is with the seams; the seams can no longer be mended.”

Clark said the cost to replace the turf would be $400,000. However, a grass field could also be installed for a cost of around $40,000. She said the board needed to make a decision soon since budget discussions are coming.

Clark said that although the grass option is cheaper and would primarily involve water costs, it could only be used for football.

“If we don’t have all these things in play we can’t get that work done in time,” Clark said.

Another issue for finding a solution was that Clark said the board had originally made an agreement with the football booster groups of both Meridian and Eagle High Schools that they would not pay for the cost to replace the turf.

Both fields at Meridian and Eagle were paid for using funds raised by the school’s respective football booster groups, and Meridian high’s turf is paid for. Eagle high is still paying for its field.

Clark said the district had not yet reached out to the booster groups, and board members raised concerns about spending so much money on football turf when other areas needed funding.

“As I’ve given it some thought, from my perspective, I think it’s a good idea to look at the budget,” Vuittonet said. “I think a $400,000 outlay is a huge commitment compared to a $40,000 or $50,000 conversion back to grass that would be safe.”

Meridian High School does not have a practice field due to the school’s remodel, and Clark spoke about options other schools currently use for their fields.

The board decided to reconvene for a special meeting next week to discuss solutions for the Meridian High field.

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